Anti-War Protest Shuts Down Military Recruitment Center in Fremont, CA

More than 100 people were able to shut down a military recruitment center in Fremont, CA on Friday afternoon during a protest aimed at removing all US troops from Afghanistan. A diverse group of Afghans, veterans, human rights activists, anarchists & people of all ages joined together in unity to demand that the American government stop it’s massacre of the Afghan people and to put an end to the extreme militarism this country has become so accustom to.

Protesters, including many from Occupy Oakland,  marched from the Fremont BART station about 4 blocks to the recruitment center where organizers had scheduled a 4 o’clock meeting. As expected the offices had closed for the day before the march arrived. The rally continued on as former military personal & other peace seekers told their stories and encouraged the crowd to keep pushing back against the injustices within the military.

“I enlisted in the military when I was in high school,” Micheal Thurman, a former member of the US Air Force told the crowd outside the recruitment center.

 

“They basically told a bunch of lies about the reality of the military. See they paint these really heroic looking pictures,” he said as he pointed to military propaganda on display in the windows.

 

“Look at how heroic this dude looks. You’re taught to dehumanize people of other countries with different cultures. That dehumanization compounds, that racism compounds until things like the atrocities that recently happened in Afghanistan, or have been happening in Afghanistan. The killing of civilians is not an isolated incident, even though the main stream media wants to treat it like that. This has been happening. Vastly disproportionate amounts of civilians are being killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The wars are not going to end from the top down. Obama just increased the war in Afghanistan, so what we gotta do is start taking more direct action like this. Start occupying the military and shutting them down, because that’s the only way these wars are going to end, from the bottom up.”

The march continued on into the streets where it was quickly met with over aggressive, yet familiar motorcycle cops. The officers formed a line directly behind the marchers and began to use their sirens in unison to create loud high pitch sounds directed at the protesters. The police officers attempted yet failed to shut down the protest by using their motorcycles as weapons to intimidate people to get off the streets and onto the side walk. One even ran over the foot of one marcher, causing him to fall briefly before snapping back up to stand up to his assailant. An officer even took to a loud speaker and announced, “Get on the sidewalk, and we won’t have any problems.” Perhaps he was referring to the two officers equipped with pepper ball guns who seemed eager to play with their toys.

The action was successful as the office remained closed and at least for the day no future recruits had been tricked into potentially giving their lives to maintain the power structure that is the military industrial complex.

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Matt Gratz
Matt Gratz founded Political Fail Blog in December of 2010. As a human rights activist, Matt has spent years in the bay area fighting for social justice in the streets. Follow PFB to keep up to date with his photos, videos & blogs! Follow me on twitter!